Can You Sweep or Vacuum Mouse Droppings?

Mice droppings are one of the most unpleasant things you can deal with in your home. Aside from being unsightly, the sign of it means that there are mice somewhere in your house, maybe an infestation. And dealing with an infestation is never fun. But can you just sweep or vacuum up those mouse droppings?

Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Mice droppings can actually be dangerous, and if you’re not careful, you could end up making the situation worse.

According to CDC, the last thing you want to do is stir up dust from mouse droppings, as it can contain harmful bacteria and viruses that can cause respiratory illnesses like Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome. So sweeping or vacuuming is not the best way to go.

The same goes with nesting materials, areas where you might think droppings would be. Sweeping up droppings or any materials contaminated with a mouse’s urine might cause more damage than good.

Their feces and urine may contain tiny droplets that, when disturbed, can be easily dispersed into the air, causing you to breathe them in.

can you sweep or vacuum mouse droppings, pile of mouse droppings near a sofa

How to Properly Clean Mouse Droppings

While we’ve mentioned that it’s not recommended to vacuum up or sweep those droppings, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to leave them be. What we’re trying to say is there’s a right way of doing so.

Now that you understand the risk of simply sweeping or vacuuming, you need to take the proper precautions when cleaning up mouse droppings. Here’s the proper way of doing it:

Step 1: Gloves On

This is by far one of the most important steps. You don’t want to be in direct contact with mouse droppings or urine, as there’s a pretty high chance that they’re already contaminated with different kinds of bacteria and viruses. Before you do anything else, make sure that you put on a pair of gloves.

Plastic or rubber gloves will do. Avoid cloth materials as they can absorb the contaminants from the droppings, and you definitely don’t want that coming into contact with your skin.

Step 2: Disinfect

Once you have your gloves on, it’s time to disinfect the area where the droppings are. Use a strong disinfectant or bleach solution and spray on the droppings and urine.

This will help kill any bacteria or viruses that might be present. Make sure to thoroughly soak the area, and if possible, let the disinfectant sit for at least 5 minutes. This way, you can be sure that all the contaminants have been killed.

Step 3: Scoop and Dispose

After you’ve let the disinfectant do its work, it’s time to scoop up the droppings. With a paper towel or any disposable material, pick up the droppings and dispose of them immediately.

Do not flush them down the toilet as this might cause clogging or, even worse, spread the contamination to other areas of your house. The best way to get rid of them is to place them in a plastic bag and throw them away.

person with pair of gloves wiping countertop with a paper towel

When throwing it into your garbage can, make sure that it’s covered so that other animals or pests won’t be able to get to it. Additionally, you may also want to choose to throw it in a trash bin that you empty more often. This is to ensure that the droppings won’t be sitting in your garbage can for too long.

Note: This method works best only if you’re cleaning on hard surfaces like countertops, floors, etc. If you’re dealing with droppings on carpets or other fabrics, washing the contaminated pieces with bleach would be the best course of action.

Step 4: Clean the Area Once More

It doesn’t stop there. Once you’ve scooped up the droppings, you need to clean the area once more. Use more of the bleach solution or disinfectant spray that you prepared earlier.

Let the solution sit for a few minutes before wiping it clean with a paper towel or cloth. Make sure that you dispose of these materials properly as well.

You might need to do this step more than once to make sure that the area is thoroughly clean. And if possible, try to air out the area as well to get rid of any lingering smells.

Step 5: Check Surrounding Areas and Disinfect

Surprise! More disinfecting. Even if the droppings are only in one area, it’s important to check the surrounding areas as well. Mice tend to move around a lot, so there’s a pretty high chance that they’ve left their droppings in other parts of your house as well.

So, do a quick sweep of your house and see if you can find any more droppings. If you do, repeat steps 2 to 5 until the area is clean.

Step 6: Wash Gloved Hands

Now that you’re done cleaning up, it’s time to take off your gloves. But before you do, make sure that you wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. Yes, while still wearing the gloves. Doing so ensures that you don’t contaminate yourself or your surroundings.

Step 7: Remove and Dispose of Gloves and Wash Your Hands Again

After you’ve washed your hands, you can now remove the gloves. Again, make sure that you dispose of them properly. Once the gloves are off, wash your hands once more for good measure. Think of it as an extra step to make sure that you’re not carrying any contaminants with you.

Although the steps above may seem like a lot of work, remember that they’re necessarily needed to ensure that you don’t spread any bacteria or viruses in the air.

person washing hands in the sink

Final Thoughts

Getting rid of mice droppings prevents the spread of bacterial infection, diseases, and anything else that comes along with it. However, take note that you can’t just use a regular vacuum cleaner or broom to sweep them up.

You’re putting your own health at risk (and everyone inside the home, too) if you do.

There’s a right way of getting rid of mice droppings, which involves using disinfectant and bleach solutions, killing the bacteria before it disperses into the air.

If you’re not comfortable doing it yourself, you can always hire a professional to do the job for you.